Have been reading about liver and understand it is quite nutrient dense. I would think only a small amount per day would be plenty? Like an ounce?
Also any thoughts on chicken vs beef liver? Beef liver is very hard to find, so I'd prefer to stick with chicken liver if there isn't much of a difference.
I usually go for 4oz-6oz of chicken liver per week (usually just once/week). Perfect Health diet says to shoot for 1/4lb (4oz) of liver/week and that's the only place I've seen a definitive number.
You can choose whatever liver you want, however make sure it is fully grassfed/organic/pastured.
Many people make a pate, basically adding a bunch of butter/fat to make it more palatable. I personally just cook it in a pan, smash it up and mix it in with some eggs. A good amount of butter in there helps as well.
Think of liver as a supplement. In terms of just vitamin A, 1 ounce of chicken liver covers all of you RDA. Closer to 2/3s of an ounce for beef liver. That's the number one nutrient to seek out in liver. A close second is copper. Copper is not high on a paleo diet, 1/3 of an ounce of beef liver covering 100% of needs, chicken liver doesn't cut it.
You don't need to eat it exclusively to meet your needs. Because you're eating a varied, plant-rich paleo diet, you don't probably need more than 1/3 of your needs (on a monthly basis) met by liver. So that's ~12 ounces of chicken liver or 8 ounces of beef liver… 2-3 servings.
I continue to be baffled by Matt's claims of low copper in the paleo diet. Normalized to zinc intake (they should be in a 1/10 ratio):
- all nuts are around 1/1
- all solanaceae, including the heavily used (by paleo-people) white potatoes, are 1/1
- most green vegetables are 3/1 to 1/4. In fact nutrition data search resulted in zero vegetables having a 1/10 ratio or lower (they were all higher)
- roots, such as beets, turnip, etc, are all over the place but average about 1/1
- sweet potato is 1/2
- fruits are all around 1/1, from 1/3 to 3/1. avocado is 1/1
- if you eat beans, sprouted or not, from 1/1 to 1/5
- I eat a lot of sprouts, specially sunflower sprouts, most sprouts are around 1/1
- eggs are 1/6
- white rice is 2/1
Unless one is eating 80% meat by calories, I do not see the copper scarcity.
I eat a large tablespoon about 4 times a week for breakfast. It is raw and frozen. I concur with Desmond that chicken may be a bit better because we get so much copper from so many sources, and chicken is low in copper. Not that I follow my advice, right now I am finishing the liver of the steer we bought in November, but after that it is going to be chicken liver until next November.
The limiting factor to how much liver you can have may be the vitamin a content, which must be in a ratio with some other nutrients, and the first one of them is vitamin d.
My most methylated folate choice :
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